Tutorial: How to make bias tape

Bias tape is often used to neaten the arm hole and neckline, either concealed or for decorative purposes. While craft stores are well stocked with a wide variety of colours, sometimes they just do not match the colour of your fabric. At times like this, I make my own bias tape. It is a very simple process.

You will need: a piece of (scrap) fabric – sufficient to be cut on the bias, a bias tape maker, a pair of scissors, a ruler, a fabric pencil (or any other marker), an iron and iron board.

1. Decide on the width of the bias tape and purchase the bias tape maker of the correct size. The standard size is about 12mm. I bought mine from the local craft store, and the brand is Clover. This range of tape makers have 5 different widths: 6mm, 12mm, 18mm, 25mm, 50mm.

2. Mark the bias i.e. the diagonal of a regular piece of fabric. You can do so by folding the fabric at 45°.

For my piece, it is a piece of scrap fabric from my half circle skirt which is cut on bias. So i trimmed off the excess to neaten the ends to get a triangle.

3. Multiply the desired width of the tape by 2 and round off to the nearest cm. For a 12mm piece, the tape should be about 3cm wide. Mark it out on the fabric (parallel to the bias) and cut it out.

I’m assuming that the piece of fabric has sufficient to produce the length you want. If not, you can always sew and connect stripes of them on the bias ends.

4. Feed the strip of fabric, with the wrong side facing you, into the broader end of the bias tape maker. It is easier to feed the fabric into the maker if the fabric has a 45° pointed end, rather than a 90° end.

5. Pull out about 1-2cm of the fabric out from the narrower end. What the maker does is to help you fold the strip of fabric towards the center.

6. Iron press the fabric as you pull the tape maker away from the iron.

7. Trim off the pointy ends.

8. And voila! You have the bias tape!

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